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In Lahore, Sidhu Says Kartarpur Corridor Will Erase 'Enmity' Between India and Pakistan

The 4-km-long corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib Narowal in Pakistan. The corridor will provide visa-free access to the Indian Sikh pilgrims to the gurdwara.

In Lahore, Sidhu Says Kartarpur Corridor Will Erase 'Enmity' Between India and Pakistan
Congress leader and Punjab cabinet minister on Tuesday crossed the Attari-Wagah border to reach Pakistan for the historic Kartarpur corridor ceremony. Courtesy: Twitter/ANI

Terming Kartarpur as a "corridor of infinite possibilities", Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said Tuesday that such initiatives would promote peace and erase "enmity" between India and Pakistan.

Sidhu, who arrived in Lahore along with a group of Indian journalists to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Narowal, some 120 kms from Lahore, was greeted at the Wagah Border by officials of Pakistan's Punjab province.

The 4-km-long corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib Narowal in Pakistan. The corridor will provide visa-free access to the Indian Sikh pilgrims to the gurdwara.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the groundbreaking of the corridor on Wednesday.

Sidhu thanked Khan for making this corridor possible which he said will help promote peace between the two countries.

"This will erase enmity between the two nations," he said.

"The seed Imran Khan had sown three months ago has become a plant. It is a happy moment for the Sikh community that the corridor to reach Kartarpur to get Baba Guru Nanak's blessing without any hassle," he told the media.

He said the wait of 73 years is over after the opening of the corridor.

"Karturpur corridor will prove to be a path of peace,” Sidhu added.

He termed it as a "corridor of infinite possibilities" and said through such initiatives, peace would be promoted (between the two countries).

Sidhu has drawn much flak from the ruling BJP and even within the Congress party over his decision to visit the ground-breaking ceremony of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. 

However, Sidhu has brushed aside criticism over the incident saying "There are tremendous possibilities in this corridor, only a political was required which has been shown by an angel (Imran Khan) across the border and as well our government here."

Pakistan government on November 23 had extended invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Amarinder Singh and Navjot Singh Sidhu for the event. The invitation was, however, declined by Swaraj citing her prior commitments pertaining to election campaigns.

Swaraj informed that Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri would represent the Indian government at the groundbreaking ceremony of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on Pakistan side.

On Monday, at the foundation stone-laying event for Kartarpur Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, used the occasion to warn Pakistan to stop terror activities against India and said "we have a large army and we are prepared".

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has already turned down Pakistan's invitation citing state-sponsored cross-border terrorism by Islamabad.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who laid the foundation stone for the much-awaited corridor, access to which is seen as a goodwill gesture by Pakistan, called it "beginning of a new chapter" in bilateral ties and said it will act as a "unifier" to build bridges across old chasms. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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